A Day At The (Cocktail) Races: Take 2

Yesterday marked the 7th annual Deighton Cup in Vancouver, BC. Our city’s version of The Kentucky Derby, the event draws thousands of people to the racetrack for one of the most anticipated events of the summer. The ladies dawn their largest hats or most elegant fascinators, the men their three piece suits and bow ties. Attendees wholeheartedly embrace the event’s vintage inspired theme and come dressed to impress.


Of course, my interests in the Deighton Cup have always lied with it’s annual cocktail competition, The Cocktail Jockey. This year the event was organized by Vancouver Club’s Alex Black and saw 11 of Vancouver’s finest bar talent compete for the coveted title and the $1000 cash prize. Competitors were asked to create a modern take on the Horse’s Neck- a combination of bourbon or brandy, ginger-ale and lemon. From homemade ginger beer to vintage glassware, delicate garnishes to burning incense, the bartenders took their creativity to new heights and gave the judges 11 incredible cocktails to remember.


In the end, the panel of four judges gave top marks to Sean McGuigan for his Monkey’s Tail cocktail. McGuigan drew inspiration from his recent travels to Southeast Asia in his modern take on the bourbon and ginger based classic. He also happened to take home the trophy 2 years ago at the inaugural Cocktail Jockey for his creative riff on the Mint Julep.


Regardless of the winner, however, this competition is always one of my favourites. The competitors wholeheartedly embrace the spirit of the day and bring so much creativity and style to the challenge. It’s an incredible reminder of the kind of talent we have in Vancouver and the sense of community this city’s bartenders have built with one another. A huge congratulations to all of the competitors. I can’t wait to do it all over again next year! And now a few more photos!








The Monkey’s Tail Recipe:

45 ml Bulliet Bourbon
15 ml Homemade Spice Mango Liqueur*
150 ml Homemade Ginger Beer**

Cocktail is built in a collins glass.

*A blend of Lambs 151, mangoes, balinese spices***, and honey syrup

** Ginger and Galangal Juice (1 part) Lime Juice (2 parts) Honey Syrup (3 parts) Lemongrass steeped water (10 parts) Champagne Yeast (1/8 teaspoon per batch)

*** Vanilla, Cloves, Green & Black Cardamom, Saffron, Star Anise, Long Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg